Saturday, December 16, 2006

Pg. 69: "A Christmas Secret"

Anne Perry is one of the "100 Masters of Crime" and best-selling author of many books, including the newly-released A Christmas Secret.

I invited her to apply the "page 69 test" to A Christmas Secret -- here is what she reported:
Yes, page 69 is pretty representative, without giving away too many secrets -- actually a very good one to use.

A Christmas Secret is a Victorian murder mystery, featuring Dominic Corde, his new wife Clarice, both characters taken from The Thomas and Charlotte Pitt series. Dominic and Clarice met and fell in love in Brunswick Gardens and in A Christmas Secret have been married about a year.

Page 69:

wedged open, so Harry and Etta could come out if they chose, or stay and mourn if that was their nature. Perhaps that was more fitting anyway. She rather hoped they would. Then she put on the boots, wrapped herself around in her cloak and set out, her mind so filled with pity she scarcely noticed either the cold or the way the deep snow dragged at her feet.

“Heart attack I expect, poor man,” Fitzpatrick told her, coming back up the steps and closing the cellar door behind him. The cat and dog had come upstairs again, persuaded with some difficulty, and were now sitting side by side in front of the kitchen stove. “Only comfort is he probably felt very little,” Fitzpatrick went on. He was a fussy man with a large moustache. “Are you all right, Mrs. Corde? Horrible experience for you. What on earth were you doing down there?”

She had already explained to him, or she thought she had. Perhaps she had been more incoherent than she
Many thanks to Anne for the input.

Among the praise for the Christmas novels of Anne Perry:
A Christmas Guest

“[A] satisfying tale.”
-–Wall Street Journal

A Christmas Journey

“One of the best books to brighten the joyous season.”
-–USA Today

“A doozy of a Christmas mystery.”
-–Dallas Morning News

A Christmas Visitor

“[Perry] creates excellent winter atmosphere in the wild, snowy lands of northern England.”
-–Arizona Republic

“Satisfyingly dark and suspenseful.”
-–Entertainment Weekly
Long Spoon Lane and Dark Assassin are among the more recent Anne Perry novels to appear in the U.S.

In 1998 Linda L. Richards interviewed and profiled Anne for January Magazine. Click here for a more recent, if briefer, interview/profile.

Previous "page 69 tests":
Elaine Showalter, Faculty Towers
Kat Richardson, Greywalker
Michael Bess, Choices Under Fire
Masha Hamilton, The Camel Bookmobile
Alex Beam, Gracefully Insane
Nicholas Lemann, Redemption
Jason Sokol, There Goes My Everything
Wendy Steiner, Venus in Exile
Josh Chafetz, Democracy’s Privileged Few
Anne Frasier, Pale Immortal
Michael Lewis, The Blind Side
David A. Bell, The First Total War
Brett Ellen Block, The Lightning Rule
Rosanna Hertz, Single by Chance, Mothers by Choice
Jason Starr, Lights Out
Robert Vitalis, America's Kingdom
Stephen Elliott, My Girlfriend Comes To The City And Beats Me Up
Colin McGinn, The Power of Movies
Sean Chercover, Big City, Bad Blood
Sigrid Nunez, The Last of Her Kind
Stanley Fish, How Milton Works
James Longenbach, The Resistance to Poetry
Margaret Lowrie Robertson, Season of Betrayal
Sy Montgomery, The Good Good Pig
Allison Burnett, The House Beautiful
Stephanie Coontz, Marriage, A History
Ed Lynskey, The Dirt-Brown Derby
Cindy Dyson, And She Was
Simon Blackburn, Truth
Brian Freeman, Stripped
Alyson M. Cole, The Cult of True Victimhood
Jeff Biggers, In the Sierra Madre
Jeff Broadwater, George Mason, Forgotten Founder
Alicia Steimberg, Andrea Labinger (trans.), The Rainforest
Michael Grunwald, The Swamp
Darrin McMahon, Happiness: A History
Leo Braudy, From Chivalry to Terrorism
David Nasaw, Andrew Carnegie
Leah Hager Cohen, Train Go Sorry
Chris Grabenstein, Slay Ride
David Helvarg, Blue Frontier
Marina Warner, Phantasmagoria
Bill Crider, A Mammoth Murder
Robert W. Bennett, Taming the Electoral College
Nicholas Stern et al, Stern Review Report
Kerry Emanuel, Divine Wind
Adam Langer, The Washington Story
Michael Scott Moore, Too Much of Nothing
Frank Schaeffer, Baby Jack
Wyn Cooper, Postcards from the Interior
Ivan Goncharov, Oblomov
Maureen Ogle, Ambitious Brew
Cass Sunstein, Infotopia
Paul W. Kahn, Out of Eden
Paul Lewis, Cracking Up
Pagan Kennedy, Confessions of a Memory Eater
David Greenberg, Nixon's Shadow
Duane Swierczynski, The Wheelman
George Levine, Darwin Loves You
John Barlow, Intoxicated
Alicia Steimberg, The Rainforest
Alan Wolfe, Does American Democracy Still Work?
John Dickerson, On Her Trail
Marcus Sakey, The Blade Itself
Randy Boyagoda, Governor of the Northern Province
John Gittings, The Changing Face of China
Rachel Kadish, Tolstoy Lied
Eric Rauchway, Blessed Among Nations
Tim Brookes, Guitar and other books
Ruth Padel, Tigers in Red Weather
William Haywood Henderson, Augusta Locke
Jed Horne, Breach of Faith
Robert Greer, The Fourth Perspective
David Plotz, The Genius Factory
Michael Allen Dymmoch, White Tiger
Patrick Thaddeus Jackson, Civilizing the Enemy
Tom Lutz, Doing Nothing
Libby Fischer Hellmann, A Shot To Die For
Nelson Algren, The Man With the Golden Arm
Bob Harris, Prisoner of Trebekistan
Elaine Flinn, Deadly Collection
Louise Welsh, The Bullet Trick
Gregg Hurwitz, Last Shot
Martha Powers, Death Angel
N.M. Kelby, Whale Season
Mario Acevedo, The Nymphos of Rocky Flats
Dominic Smith, The Mercury Visions of Louis Daguerre
Simon Blackburn, Lust
Linda L. Richards, Calculated Loss
Kevin Guilfoile, Cast of Shadows
Ronlyn Domingue, The Mercy of Thin Air
Shari Caudron, Who Are You People?
Marisha Pessl, Special Topics in Calamity Physics
John Sutherland, How to Read a Novel
Steven Miles, Oath Betrayed
Alan Brown, Audrey Hepburn's Neck
Richard Dawkins, The Ancestor's Tale

--Marshal Zeringue